Tools Of A Kind
First Neanderthal cave paintings discovered in Spain - life - 10 February 2012 Cave paintings in Malaga, Spain, could be the oldest yet found – and the first to have been created by Neanderthals. Looking oddly akin to the DNA double helix, the images in fact depict the seals that the locals would have eaten, says José Luis Sanchidrián at the University of Cordoba, Spain. They have "no parallel in Palaeolithic art", he adds. His team say that charcoal remains found beside six of the paintings – preserved in Spain's Nerja caves – have been radiocarbon dated to between 43,500 and 42,300 years old.
Stone Age Art Gets Animated
Researchers have long debated how long Neandertals stuck around after modern humans invaded their home territories in Europe and Asia around 40,000 years ago. Some say as long as 10,000 years; others think Neandertals went extinct almost immediately. A new radiocarbon dating study of a Neandertal site in Russia concludes that the latter scenario is most likely, and that Neandertals and modern humans were probably like ships in the night. But don’t expect this to be the last word on this contentious subject. Neandertals and modern humans likely encountered one another at least twice during prehistory. Were Neandertals and Modern Humans Just Ships in the Night?
Forget peaceful interbreeding: a new analysis of archaeological sites in south-west France has resurrected the idea that it was good old-fashioned competition that led to the demise of the European Neanderthals in the face of modern humans. Since a recent analysis of the revealed the first clear evidence that , researchers from a number of academic fields have seized on this nugget of information to formulate new – and less brutal – hypotheses for the Neanderthals' fate. For instance, immunologists suggest modern humans could survive in Neanderthal territory only because they bred with the locals and so . Mathematicians, meanwhile, have proposed that some Neanderthal populations disappeared not because of fierce competition with a superior species but because of . But these hypotheses forget a crucial point, says Paul Mellars at the University of Cambridge. Industrial revolution sealed Neanderthals' fate - life - 28 July 2011
ON THE western fringes of Siberia, the Stone Age Denisova cave has surrendered precious treasure: a toe bone that could shed light on early humans' promiscuous relations with their hominin cousins. New Scientist has learned that the bone is now in the care of Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who revealed the first genetic evidence of interbreeding between ancient humans and other hominins (New Scientist, 30 July, p 34). There are tantalising hints that the find strengthens the case for a third major group of hominins circulating in Eurasia at the same time as early humans and the Neanderthals. It might possibly even prove all three groups were interbreeding (see diagram). The Denisova cave had already yielded a fossil tooth and finger bone, in 2000 and 2008. Last year, Pääbo's DNA analysis suggested both belonged to a previously unknown group of hominins, the Denisovans. Stone Age toe could redraw human family tree - life - 10 August 2011
Evolution::News::September 5, 2011:: ::Email::Print Human Ancestors Interbred with Related Species
Neanderthals’ successful adaptation to climate change may have contributed to their extinction by leading to more interactions with humans. Were Neanderthals Victims of Their Own Success? | Hominid Hunting
Tuna has been on the menu for a lot longer than we thought. Even 42,000 years ago, the deep-sea dweller wasn't safe from fishing tackle according to new finds in southeast Asia. We know that open water was no barrier to travel in the Pleistocene – humans must have crossed hundreds of kilometres of ocean to reach Australia by 50,000 years ago. But while humans had already been pulling shellfish out of the shallows for 100,000 years by that point, the first good evidence of fishing with hooks or spears comes much later – around 12,000 years ago. Deep sea fishing for tuna began 42,000 years ago - life - 24 November 2011
Our ancestors speak out after 3 million years - life - 23 November 2011 Listen to simulations of our ancestors' first sounds YOU may think humanity's first words are lost in the noise of ancient history, but an unlikely experiment using plastic tubes and puffs of air is helping to recreate the first sounds uttered by our distant ancestors. Many animals communicate with sounds, but it is the variety of our language that sets us apart.
The World's Oldest Profession: Chef
Entoptics or Doodles: Children of the Cave There was a time when Paleolithic cave paintings were construed primarily through the lens of “art,” an interpretive stance which assumes that at least some Paleolithic peoples were “artists” who painted for pleasure.
Shelters Date To Stone Age
Evolution::TechMediaNetwork::May 3, 2012:: ::Email::Print Stonehenge Had Lecture Hall Acoustics
“The statues walked,” Easter Islanders say. Archaeologists are still trying to figure out how—and whether their story is a cautionary tale of environmental disaster or a celebration of human ingenuity. Easter Island
How Africa Became the Cradle of Humankind | Hominid Hunting The Taung Child was killed by an eagle about three million years ago. Image courtesy of Wikicommons
Iceman Autopsy By Stephen S.
Ötzi the iceman's stomach throws up a surprise - life - 11 December 2011 IT'S time to rethink Ötzi the iceman's last hours. The theory that he was caught and killed after a lengthy and exhausting chase through the Alps clashes with new evidence that he sat down for a leisurely meal no more than an hour before his violent death. Ötzi's body was discovered in 1991 inside a glacier near the mountainous border between Italy and Austria. It had been naturally mummified by ice about 5300 years ago. A previous analysis of Ötzi's stomach concluded it was almost empty of food, leading to the idea that the iceman spent his final moments running on an empty stomach. But when Albert Zink of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy, and colleagues took a closer look, they realised that the empty "stomach" was in fact a section of Ötzi's colon.